Vis Bellica is a set of rules for wargaming the Ancients period that I wrote and published in the early 2,000s. I played and promoted VB quite heavily for the next five years or so, but now, unfortunately, the whole project had become moribund. To be honest, the rules need a second edition...and I'm not currently in a position (what with real life and the work I do with the Lardies) where I can devote enough time to the project to make it viable.

This section of the website is, however, dedicated to a set of rules that I do truly love and will, one day, resurrect!

Here's a summary of what VB was all about:

  • Figures based as chunky elements that correctly represent both ground scale and historical (as far as is known) units.  Easy to move round the table and look good.
  • An average game consists of about 120 figures a side, and takes about 2½-3 hours of play to resolve.
  • A combat system that doesn’t involve complicated book-keeping or rolling more than two or three dice at a time.
  • A command structure where figures are grouped as regular ‘brigades’ or irregular ‘contingents’ that report to officers that report to more senior officers.
  • A command system where officers could, on a parade ground, successfully issue a limited set of orders to the figures under their command, but this ability breaks down rapidly as the 'fog of war' descends during a battle.  
  • Hidden movement possible without the need for a referee.
  • Army lists that emphasise the common soldier as opposed to being a collection of special units grouped together.

Looking at the list now, what strikes me is how similar a lot of the above 'key points' are compared to the Lardy philosophy. I was obviously a Lardy in waiting!

"...these rules look to be very slick. There are several neat touches that show they have been crafted by someone with a keen interest in the period and a desire to play interesting wargames." (October 2002)